The Scientific Method & Asking the Right Questions

I think I first learned about the scientific method in 3rd or 4th Grade. The basics, right?

  • Choose a title.
  • Ask a question
  • Form a hypothesis
  • State your method
  • Analyze your data
  • Share your results
  • Discuss your results in light of previous writing and research

One of the reasons why I have developed the Rose Hip Road Trip the way I have is because I want to demonstrate what this process looks like in research--particularly, in research with a more qualitative orientation.  I believe thoroughly that the key to developing and conducting solid research of any kind lies in that second step. One must ask the right question to find the answer one seeks.

Even the poet Ranier Maria Rilke wrote, "try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language" (1). Every question is a locked room waiting to be explored. And often, it is also a book written in a foreign language--which is why solid research methods allow people to learn a lot more than they might have anticipated. I believe that asking the right questions is an excellent step to moving forward in life. Be sure, however, that you are prepared to receive the answers to the question being asked--whether the research is considered "formal" or "informal". I think Brene Brown defines asking a question whose answer you're unprepared to receive as an opportunity for a breakdown/spiritual awakening. Often true! Over the next month, I'll expand upon what this scientific method looks like in the context of this research. In my next post, I'll share the research questions for this project.